Tag Team Studios, Bergen

The Imaginary Republic looks at questions of public life and civic culture in today’s global environment, and considers how ongoing economic, social and political unrest has led to an intensification of grass-roots initiatives, artistic activism, alternative instituting and forms of commoning.

As a network of related participants, the project develops through shared methods and modes of experimental pedagogy, critical togetherness, public and creative instituting, and looks to identify through their expressions possibilities for political imagining. The political imagination is posited as a tool for problematizing and negotiating contemporary crises, enabling an understanding of public assembly as intensely creative and psychic labors that equally contain secret desires, generative noises, breaks in identity and community, and assemblages of deviant knowledge.

In his book, Disagreement, Jacques Rancière identifies two sides to the governmental, what he calls “the political” and “the police”. As he states, often what we imagine as “the political” is only a mode of policing. Such a dichotomous view, while providing an important perspective, may also overlook the more nuanced, in-between articulations found in grass-roots movements, civic cultures, radical dreaming, unlikely friendships and acts of (non)work, the daily rituals or encounters between neighbors and strangers, as well as the poetics of relating to what is not yet, through which agency and self-determination find their future footing.

The exhibition at Tag Team Studios, divided into two editions, brings together works, propositions, and documents that consider relations between individual determination and social and institutional structures. Questions of art and economy, biopolitics and vacancy, transience, piracy and infrastructures of the poor are brought forward as critical and creative arenas of struggle.

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